Around the Horn: A-Rod to the DL, Nova recalled…

There have been some interesting stories developing around the Yankee Universe lately, here’s a quick breakdown.

  • A-Rod has become the most recent Yankee to hit the DL as he was placed on the 15-Day DL this afternoon according to Chad Jennings. A-Rod has been dealing with a calf injury, and after a few days of rest, the Yankees medical team decided he was ready to play yesterday. A-Rod did get the start at DH yesterday, but he had to leave the game early. The Yankees are claiming that A-Rod’s calf is in no worse shape than it was a few days ago, but it’s hard to believe that playing yesterday did not further aggravate it.
  • Also coming from Jennings, Ivan Nova is being recalled and will get the start for the Yankees on Monday pushing the other starters back a day. Joel Sherman actually broke this news this morning, but now it’s official. I love the idea to plug Nova into the rotation because the extra rest for the rest of the rotation will be well welcomed. It shouldn’t hurt to get the struggling Javier Vazquez some extra rest time, and extra rest for Hughes means he may be able to pitch longer into the season before he hits his innings limit. Although Marc Carig has quoted Brian Cashman as saying that Hughes’ innings limit won’t play a factor in the playoffs and that it will be “all hands on deck”, for what it’s worth.
  • Josh Norris has confirmed the rumors that Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances have been promoted to AA Trenton. Banuelos and Betances will join a rotation featuring Andrew Brackman, Adam Warren, and Hector Noesi. That’s a pretty fine rotation that Trenton has there.
  • Via NPB Tracker on Twitter, we learn that the Yankees have sent Damon Oppenheimer and Billy Eppler to Japan to watch pitching sensation Yu Darvish. Darvish is only 24 years old, but he has really made a name for himself in Japan, and arguably in the U.S. as well. Darvish is not eligible to become an international free agent until after 2014, but his team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, have the opportunity to post him in which MLB teams would have the right to bid for the opportunity to negotiate a contract with Darvish. There seems to be no question of whether this will happen, it’s just a matter of when. And rest assured, once he is available, the Yankees will be in the Darvish sweepstakes.
  • You may have heard the news already, but the Yankees announced yesterday that the Cleveland Indians have selected AAA starter Zach McAllister as the player to be named later in the deal for Austin Kearns. McAllister may seem like a lot to give up for Kearns, but McAllister has really struggled in AAA this season and may no longer have fit in with the Yankees future plans.
  • 2010 HOPE Week ended yesterday with the Yankees helping out two sisters, Melida and Johanna Arias. I really enjoyed HOPE Week this year, along with last year, and I hope it has inspired others to help out the community.
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Yankees lose out on Haren

"Dan Haren will not be wearing pinstripes anytime soon." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Update 7/25/10

The Angels have just acquired Dan Haren in exchange for Joe Saunders and other prospects. I know nothing about the prospects so I can’t say for sure but it sounds like the D’backs were the losers in this trade.

Just two weeks ago the Yankees were in heavy talks with the Mariners regarding Cliff Lee. In fact, it seemed that the Yankees were just about ready to fit Lee into a Yankee uniform, however, it never came to be. The Mariners pulled out at the last-minute and traded Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers. Now, with the Cliff Lee non-trade in the rearview mirror, the Yankees appear to be in serious discussions with the Arizona Diamondbacks for Dan Haren. Last night the news broke that the Yankees were rumored to be the front-runners in the Haren sweepstakes, and while things have quieted down, there is a good chance that the Yankees still are in the lead for Haren.

In return for Haren, the Diamondbacks are rumored to want pitching, pitching, and more pitching. I think it’s safe to say that Jesus Montero will not be a part of any possible trade for Haren, but last night we did get an idea of who the Yankees might send to Arizona. Last night, Frankie Piliere reported that Ivan Nova could very well be the centerpiece of the trade and that Joba Chamberlain could also be in the deal. However, this morning Bob Klapisch tweeted that the Yankees are not willing to include Joba in a potential trade for Haren and Jon Heyman said the same and added that the Yankees are willing to include Ivan Nova, Zach McAllister, and two other prospects. Heyman also said that the Yankees are willing to take on all of Haren’s contract but they have no interest in taking on anyone else from Arizona. Stay tuned for more updates.

If the Yankees can acquire Dan Haren for Ivan Nova, Zach McAllister, and two lesser prospects I would surely be in approval of the trade, but if the Diamondbacks demand that Joba be included in the trade, that’s when I get a bit uneasy. If the Yankees trade Joba they would be selling very low on him, which is usually not a good idea. Joba has run into a lot of back luck this season (I have a post planned about this and it should be up in the upcoming days) and is bound to see his numbers improve next season if not this season. However, Dan Haren has also experienced bad luck this season and the Diamondbacks would be selling low on him too. Still, Dan Haren doesn’t project to be a big part of the Diamondbacks’ future while Joba could very well play a key role in the Yankees future if they make him a starter. I really don’t know where I would stand on a trade for Haren which includes Joba.

Off Day Musings (7/19/10)

State of the Yankees

  • Through their first 91 games the Yankees are 58-33, which is the best record in baseball, and it puts them on pace for about 103 wins.
  • The Yankees are atop the AL East with a 3 game lead on the Tampa Rays after taking 2 out of 3 games from the Rays this past series.

Andy Pettitte’s injury

"Pettitte leans over in pain." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Andy Pettitte had to leave his start prematurely yesterday with what has now been diagnosed as a Grade I left groin strain. Via Erik Boland, GM Brian Cashman expects Pettitte to be out four to five weeks. I’m hoping Brian Cashman is just being conservative considering Pettitte is 38 years old, however, if he is out four to five weeks (in addition to rehab time), the Yankees will have a good number of starts to fill. Cashman told Boland that Sergio Mitre will take Pettitte’s next start on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look at further options for following starts. My suggestion would be to give Ivan Nova a shot and if he doesn’t work out, I believe Mitre is a solid option. There is no sense in making a trade unless the Yankees could get someone, without giving up any top prospects, who represents a true upgrade over Mitre . And that probably won’t happen so in my opinion the Yankees should stay internal in replacing Pettitte. Pettitte’s injury is obviously debilitating to the Yankees, but on the bright side his elbow will be kept fresh during the time off and that may prove beneficial come October. In the end, I see no reason to panic. Pettitte will be missed, but Mitre, Nova, or another internal option could be quite valuable. Remember, the 2009 Yankees won the World Series last year and Sergio Mitre made nine starts for that team. Every team, even the best teams, have to deal with injuries to the starting rotation.

Upcoming Angels series

Tuesday

RHP Phil Hughes vs. TBA

  • Scott Kazmir was scratched from the start with shoulder fatigue.
  • Phil Hughes has not pitched since July 9th not counting the All Star Game.
  • The game will be on My9 with a 7:05 p.m. start time. I will be at the game and I’m excited to see Hughes pitch!

Wednesday

RHP Javier Vazquez vs. RHP Joel Pineiro

  • In his two starts against the Yankees this year, Pineiro has had mixed results. On April 14th he dominated the Yankees allowing only one run in seven innings. However, on April 24 he allowed six runs in six innings to the Yankees.
  • Javier Vazquez’s last start came on July 10th when he carried a no-hitter into the sixth against the Mariners. He would go on to throw seven shutout innings while only allowing three hits, but Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees could not get Javy the win.
  • The game will be on YES with a 1:05 p.m. start time.

"Hopefully Hughes mixes in some more changeups and curveballs in his start tomorrow." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports